Big data has been responsible for the revolutionary overhaul of processes in nearly every industry. Field service management is no different. Data has enabled field service companies to improve operations across multiple disciples within the space. Companies with fleet vehicles have strategically used technology called telematics to upgrade the efficiency and productivity of their work.
Telematics is the pairing of a fleet vehicle’s GPS enabled tracking device with computer systems known as informatics. For field service companies, the main benefit is real-time data on driver behavior, vehicle patterns, and location. Optimized telematics requires a collaborative effort between drivers and field service leaders. Today, we’ll explore a few reasons why having front and back-office employees on the same page is critical to success.
Before we talk about the advantages of collaboration, let’s review how telematics works. Specifically, what can it do for a field service management company? A clear benefit of telematics is straightforward data transfer via GPS. Many fleet vehicles will already come installed with the GPS tracker that makes the data recordable. For those that don’t, aftermarket GPS devices are readily available and easy to install.
There are no extra steps for company technicians to take. No switches to flip or notes to record. All driving behaviors and patterns are fed seamlessly to the cloud via software partners like EnSight+. A field service head or fleet manager can access that data at any time from any internet-enabled device. Among other insights, employees will have access to a telematics platform. This includes the exact location, health, and status of each vehicle. Along with the speed at which the driver is traveling at any time, how much the driver has been idling, and if the driver is aggressively accelerating or braking.
With some technicians, the use of telematics can feel off-putting or like they’re being watched. What leadership must stress to these drivers is that telematics platforms are in place to help and not harm. The best way to accomplish this is through transparency and letting employees know exactly what’s going to be monitored. This will help them to better understand its purpose.
Leadership can use the platform as a coaching opportunity to help technicians improve. If a technician has received several complaints about punctuality to appointments, a supervisor can review their driving history and the routes taken. Unbeknownst to the driver, a faster, more efficient route to a popular service area may be available, which should inevitably help the driver arrive on time in the future.
Fleet service managers and technicians that understand telematics tracking is a group effort may work together to help map out an efficient route for each day’s appointments. With the platform’s GPS capabilities, back-office employees can see these things in real-time if the vehicle has veered off course or has stopped permanently. In cases of accidents, that functionality can help the company promptly dispatch emergency personnel.
Helping to reduce the likelihood of what could be an avoidable crash due to faulty equipment like bald tires, for example, Telematics preventive tools can also alert repair personnel when it’s time for vehicle maintenance.
As mentioned earlier, achieving buy-in from technicians can be a tough sell. The conversations explaining the program should also describe how telematics can help technicians improve their performance. In turn, reaching personal and company goals.
Here’s an example of a real and relevant situation in which telematics can incentivize a driver. Many people don’t realize how wasteful idling in a truck can be and how much it impacts fuel consumption. If you explain to the technicians that better fuel consumption means better margins, which means better profits and potentially higher salaries, it may curtail their careless driving behaviors.
The field service software offered by EnSight+ includes a telematics suite that can address each of these areas and more. Our solution is entirely customizable so leadership can collaborate with technicians and design a platform suited to the company’s needs. Book a demo of the software today.
All monitored by you, in real time. Are you ready to take control?